Tube Lines in £1.5bn hole

TUBE Lines chairman David Begg said last night he was frustrated his chief executive Dean Finch is leaving the underground maintenence firm to join transport group National Express.

Begg said: “We tried to keep hold of him but National Express made him an offer we couldn’t compete with.”

Finch only joined Tube Lines, which maintains the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines, from FirstGroup in May.

The news came as the public private partnership arbiter Chris Bolt said Tube Lines would have to find an extra £1.5bn in the seven-and-a-half year period up until July 2010 to fund work. Sources say Begg is likely to switch from non-executive chairman to executive chairman to cover Finch’s move. Tube Lines adds that if it has to find this extra cash work on the Northern and the Piccadilly lines would be delayed as a result.